Frantz Henrich Muller founded Royal Copenhagen in Denmark in 1775. It was rumored that the sovereign ruler of Denmark suggested the company's trademark. The suggestion was three curved lines to represent the three great rivers (the Sound, the Great Belt, and the Little Belt) that flowed through the Danish countryside. This mark is still used by Royal Copenhagen today.
After changing ownership in 1885, the Royal Copenhagen factory moved to a new location in Frederiksberg. This location happened to be situated next to very scenic gardens that were the inspiration for many of the plants and animals depicted in beautiful pattern designs done by
Royal Copenhagen. To bring a fresh perspective to the company, a young architect named Arnold Krog was appointed Art Director. Krog was the mastermind behind the first underglaze piece produced by Copenhagen. The piece, an ornate vase, caused great excitement at the Paris Exhibition in 1889.
The underglaze process became the standard for
Royal Copenhagen collectibles; however, a switch in customer tastes led the company back to overglaze painting in the early 1900's. In order to differentiate the new overglaze style versus the old, Royal Copenhagen added a crown above the original three line trademark.
1987 saw Royal Copenhagen and long time competitor Bing & Grondahl merge into one company. Bing & Grondahl is famous for their original line of blue and white annual Christmas plates. This line expanded into annual and semi-annual lines including Mother's Day and Easter plates. Today, the plates and figurines have developed a collector following, and are highly sought after.